Here are some questions that I ask myself whenever I read through a mathematics curriculum:
• Does this curriculum assume that children will forget ideas over time?
• Does this curriculum provide instructional supports that increase the odds that all children have access to it?
• Does the curriculum assume all students are capable of learning and doing interesting mathematics?
• Are the connections between different mathematical ideas made explicit, both for me as a teacher, and for students who will experience the curriculum?
• Is it possible, based on the license and format of the materials, for me to extend / adapt / modify the curriculum based on student need?
• Does the material make it easier for me to use formative assessment practices each day?
If the answer to all of these questions is not yes, I don’t want to use that curriculum. A curriculum which is no more than a collection of tasks is no more useful to me than my ability to search for resources in Google.
What other questions do you ask yourself when reviewing curriculum?